Samsung is the latest manufacturer to get pulled into Microsoft’s web. Samsung and Microsoft have announced a cross-licensing agreement that involves patents from both sides. While the agreement is mutually beneficial, Samsung will be paying royalties to Microsoft for every Android powered device they sell. Not only will Microsoft be getting cash for Samsung’s Android phones, but Samsung has also agreed to develop and promote new handsets running Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS.
Together with the license agreement signed last year with HTC, today’s agreement with Samsung means that the top two Android handset manufacturers in the United States have now acquired licenses to Microsoft’s patent portfolio. These two companies together accounted for more than half of all Android phones sold in the U.S. over the past year. That leaves Motorola Mobility, with which Microsoft is currently in litigation, as the only major Android smartphone manufacturer in the U.S. without a license. Brad Smith & Horacio Gutierrez Microsoft
We certainly don’t like the fact that Microsoft is profiting off Google’s success with Android, but a licensing agreement with Microsoft is much better than having your products completely banned by Apple.
If the Google acquisition of Motorola is approved, we should see Android manufacturers get the upper hand on all these patent disputes. Motorola is the only manufacturer that hasn’t been under fire. We have a feeling that its patent portfolio has a lot to do with that.
With the two largest Android manufacturers paying licensing fees to Microsoft for their Android devices, how long do you think it will take for other manufacturers to cave in?